WA Health system

Public Health Act 2016

People standing together holding letters that spell the word health

What is the Public Health Act 2016?

The new Public Health Act 2016 provides modern legislation to regulate public health in Western Australia.

The Act will repeal much of the outdated Health Act 1911 (external site) and are designed to better protect and promote the health of all Western Australians.

What is the purpose of the Public Health Act 2016?

The Public Health Act 2016 provides a flexible and proactive framework for the regulation of public health. Key features of the Act include:

  • Promoting public health and wellbeing in the community
  • Help prevent disease, injury, disability and premature death
  • Inform individuals and communities about public health risks
  • Encourage individuals and their communities to plan for, create and maintain a healthy environment
  • Support programs and campaigns intended to improve public health
  • Collect information about the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other public health risks for research purposes
  • Reduce the health inequalities in public health of disadvantaged communities.

How does the Act concern me?

The Act reforms and improves Western Australian regulation on public health. It better protects and promotes public health and will prevent illness and injury.

The Act places a legal duty on all people to conduct their activities in a way that does not cause harm to the health of others. This means that we all have a legal responsibility to protect another person from harm.

Individuals can be fined up to $250,000 if they are convicted of undertaking activities which can cause harm to the health of others.

Who enforces the Act?

Local governments will enforce the Public Health Act 2016.

Authorised officers (previously known as environmental health officers) are responsible for investigating any public health matter within their local government boundaries.

More information

Learn more about the Public Health Act 2016 (external site) on the Department of Health corporate website.


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Information about a service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace professional advice. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified professional for answers to their questions.

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